I truly want to thank Scott Mackie, the President/CEO of Crimson Talon for taking some time to answer my questions.
1) How long have you been in the broadhead business?
We started experimenting with new designs in 1999. We officially went to market in 2003.
2) What made you decide to take the plunge?
Being a life-long bowhunter, I would have to buy several different brands of broadheads prior to each archery season opener. Then I would experiment with each trying to find three individual heads that would fly straight out of my set-up. It got to be both expensive, as well as frustrating. Every year bows got faster; making huge leaps in technology and performance. However, broadheads remained the same. As speeds annually increased, it became harder to find a broadhead that didn’t wind-plane.
I had an engineering acquaintance that worked for NASA. We spoke at length about the problem of inaccurate flight. Being in the aeronautics industry, it was readily apparent to him that the flat blades on broadheads were incapable of “flying” accurately. He said, “after all, how many airplanes have you ever seen that fly with flat wings?” It made sense.
After several rounds of prototyping, we came up with our first Crimson Talon. That design has undergone several revisions. As with any start-up company, you make some mistakes along the way. We have now, in my opinion, the toughest, most accurate and deadliest broadhead on the market.
3) Can you talk a little about your manufacturing process?
For the first few years, we manufactured everything in the US. However, with the cost of doing business in the US escalating exponentially, we found it necessary to outsource some of our components. Currently we have parts shipped to our manufacturing facility in Maryland, where we hand assemble and package of entire product line.
We have a 6,000 square feet facility and employ four full-time and sometimes as many as 6 part time employees.
4) The broadhead business seems very competitive – talk about the challenges involved.
5) Is it hard to keep coming up with fresh new concepts, or do you just concentrate on perfecting what you already do well?
6) Broadhead debates seem a lot like “Chevy/Ford/Dodge” arguments – how much marketing effort is spent trying to win “converts”? What other marketing strategies do you employ?
The broadhead industry is very competitive. There aren’t that many bowhunters (last projection around 3 million) and there are numerous companies making broadheads. As you mentioned, it is also a very brand loyal customer base.
So we have spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to convince bowhunters to give our products a try (“convert” as you put it). I think the biggest driver, the one that has more and more hunters trying our products, is the patented technology that sets us apart from all other broadheads.
It is simply impossible to defy the laws of physics. Physics dictate that a flat surface (broadhead blades) cannot “fly” as they have no aerodynamic properties. Our blades all have airfoils built into them. It’s these airfoils that when shoot, impart rapid high-speed rotation on the arrow shaft – “spin-stabilization.”
It’s like a spinning top. No matter what you do to it while it is spinning, it corrects itself. Another huge advantage to our airfoils is they cause the broadhead to screw through the animal, much like a drywall screw. This screwing action results in literally a round hole. This is a wound that cannot close or clot. It is hands-down the most lethal in the hunting industry.
Flat blades make small incisions that immediately close back up. This leads to poor blood trails, and in many cases, lost animals.
7) Do you hunt? Bowhunt only? Preferred game? Preferred head? Fixed or mechanical?
I have been an avid bowhunter for almost thirty years now. In fact, I rarely hunt with a firearm any more. My favorite species is hands down whitetail. I personally use our Crimson Talon XT (our most popular head). I have harvested so many animals with it, it’s hard for me to switch.
8 ) Some of my readers may never have heard of your company – what would you want them to know?
9) How is business? Steady? Growing? Exploding? Most popular head?
Business continues to grow each and every year. There were many bowhunters who were very skeptical of our claims. After all, we profess to cure all the ills of traditional flat-bladed broadheads. It’s hard for some out there to believe the hype.
After all, every broadhead manufacturer claims that their heads “fly like a field point.” Anyone who has ever shot a bow knows this simply isn’t true. Once they give us a try, we get piles of e-mails and pictures from hunters that are overwhelmed by the performance of our products.
10) Anything else you’d like to add?
Crossbows are quickly gaining acceptance as an “archery season” weapon. We build our Crimson Talon Hyper-Speed XT for crossbows and ultra-fast compounds. They have eleven aggressive airfoils that impart a tremendous amount of spin-stabilization. They have been tested to 500 feet per second.
There is all kinds of information on the website – I suggest you stop by and visit today!